Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart Foundation President and EVP, Chief Sustainability Officer of Walmart, today visited and interacted with farmers and leaders of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in Rariya and Bilouli Maharaj villages in the Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh. These farmers are part of a project supported by Walmart Foundation and managed and implemented by TechnoServe.
Tuesday, the Walmart Foundation announced a $3.5 million grant (approximately Rs 25.2 crores) to TechnoServe to help create more sustainable livelihoods for smallholder farmers. TechnoServe will help up to 30 FPOs in Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh improve their access to markets and financing, and become stronger businesses with better accounting, governance and management systems. TechnoServe will also help build capability of smallholders in these FPOs by promoting sustainable agriculture practices, improving post-harvest and storage systems, and providing market access for smallholders. Through this grant, TechnoServe aims to boost incomes for 25,000 farmers (50% of whom will be women).
“This grant extends Walmart Foundation’s efforts to improve market access for smallholder farmers in India, with the aim of increasing their income while also contributing to a stronger and more sustainable agricultural sector in the country,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart Foundation President and EVP, Chief Sustainability Officer of Walmart.
The Walmart Foundation also announced this week a $1.3 million grant to Digital Green, an organization that seeks to provide data such as weather forecasts, market pricing, and growing advice to farmers directly on mobile devices.
These grants are part of Walmart Foundation’s five-year, $25 million (approximately Rs. 180 crores) commitment to improve smallholder farmer livelihoods in India. To date, including the grants announced this week, Walmart Foundation has made over $10 million (Rs. 71 crores) in grants that aim to benefit 81,000 farmers, including 29,030 women farmers.
Walmart the company has also committed to source up to 25% of its produce for the Best Price cash and carry format from local smallholders.
Beyond India, Walmart Foundation is also working in Mexico, Central America and South Africa to address systemic challenges faced by smallholder farmers and small producers related to sustainable production practices, access to finance, infrastructure and market access.